Next Level Home Workouts
I love the gym. I really do. If I can get there for a workout, I will.
But truth be told, you cannot always get to a gym.
You may be at the cabin, snowed in, looking after your kids, whatever.
So, you need to find ways to sneak in exercise at home.
But doing the same shit over and over can get pretty boring and can stall progress if done too often.
This article will give you some alternative tips and tricks to keep your training fun and allow you to continue to get a training effect when working out at home.
1. Increase Range-of-Motion (ROM)
This works great with single-leg movements.
You can increase the distance that you step-up to, you can increase the distance you squat down to or you can elevate the surface you step from.
Check out these examples below:
Step-up height 1
Step-up height 2
Rear-foot elevated split squat
Rear-foot elevated split squat from deficit
Front-foot elevated reverse lunge
This is an awesome way to increase your mobility so you don’t pull a hammy when chasing your kids around in the backyard.
A note of caution, be wary of increasing ROM in exercises like deadlifts, rows and presses.
Many people struggle enough with these movements in terms of keeping the form on point.
Stick with the single-leg movements to get started.
2. Manipulating Muscular Actions
In this section, we’ll talk about putting emphasis on different muscular actions.
A. Eccentric training
This type of training puts emphasis on the lowering portion of an exercise.
The eccentric portion of a movement is where the majority of muscle damage occurs from your workouts, so get ready to get sore.
You’ll feel the hairs starting to sprout out of your chest when you finish a set of these.
Check out these eccentric push-ups:
B. Isometric training
Get into a good position and just hold on for the ride.
We love this one for owning positions. Combine this method with #7 below – internal tension and you have a recipe for some serious man grunts….make sure your windows are closed.
Here’s a old school video of me laying down some split squat iso holds:
C. Tempo lifting
We have two main fibre types in our muscles – Slow twitch and fast twitch.
Your fast twitch fibres tend to respond to heavier loads and quicker speeds.
Your slow twitch fibres tend to respond better to lighter loads and slower speeds.
So for this method, use a slow tempo – 3 seconds down and 2 seconds up with NO break at the top and NO break at the bottom.
The lighter weight and slower tempo increases the size of slow twitch fibres.
Increased muscle size increases your metabolism, increased metabolism burns up more fat.
Stoke it up, baby!
Check it this tempo lifting video:
3. 1 1/4 reps
These are fun.
You are basically adding some time under tension with your movements by adding a 1/4 or 1/2 rep to every full rep.
Also, another awesome way to “own” your technique for almost any exercise.
4. Exercise pairings
Different combinations of exercises will alter the way your body responds to any singular exercise.
Here are a few you can try:
A. Compound Pairs
Compound pairings combine exercises that work the same muscle group.
You are basically compounding the effect of one exercise onto another…to make it burn real good.
For example, Squats and reverse lunges both work the glutes and quads, so pairing these two up together will be fun.
B. Upper/lower super-set
Try pairing your exercises up in a upper / lower fashion. This is a great way you can rev up your metabolism by inducing a systemic, total body stress where blood is shunted from the upper-body to the lower-body.
For example, push-ups and split squats
C. Agonist/antagonist super-set
You could also pair up opposing movements so one muscle ‘rests’ while the other works.
How about some push-ups and rows?
4. Increase torque
You can increase the distance between the point of force application and the axis of rotation.
Well, for bodyweight exercises like inchworms and planks, the muscles of your prime rib (trunk muscles) get fired up the higher you take your hands over head. What we’re doing by taking the hands up is increase the lever length and therefore the torque your trunk muscles experience.
Try these out:
5. Raise the centre of mass
The further your centre of mass is from your base of support, the harder an exercise will be.
Your centre of mass typically sits around your belly button but, raising the hands up raises the centre of mass above that point.
We love to use prisoner and overhead movements for this.
6. Increase deceleration
This one mainly applies to lower body exercises and specifically single-leg movements.
You can break down single-leg exercises into accelerative movements and decelerative movements.
Accelerative movements include step-ups, reverse lunges and split squats.
Decelerative movements include walking lunges and forward lunges.
Accelerative movements are typically associated with less eccentric stress (stress due to lowering the body/weight) than decelerative movements.
On the other hand, with decelerative movements, the leg has to slow down the weight of the body as you step into your lunge more so than in the reverse lunges and step-ups.
Changing exercises to be more decelerative will be sure to make the tips of your moustache curl up in fear.
Here is a progression we use in our programming that increases in deceleration as our clients get more effective with their movements:
Progression 1 – split squat and step-up
Progression 2 – reverse lunge
Progression 3 – walking lunge
Progression 4 – forward lunge to box
Progression 5 – forward lunge
7. Internal tension
This is a method we have become obsessed with over the last 2 years.
We often rely on the inherent difficulty of the exercise to “feel it” but so many times, there is plenty of difficulty to be had – you just need to develop it.
Finding the tension from within involves squeezing the right muscles (usually butt and abs), squeezing things together and pushing things out.
It is an all-out freak fest of your technique – taking everything you do properly in an exercise to extreme friggin’ levels.
Here is what we do for max tension planks aka RKC planks
-Squeeze butt and abs
-squeeze legs together
-dig forearms into ground
-dig fists into ground
-pull elbows to toes
-don’t poop your pants
-you should probably breathe too
These methods are all great ways to progress your at-home exercises if you really cannot make it to the gym.
We know life happens and sometimes you need to sneak in a quick workout at home.
Or maybe you just want to be around your family when you workout.
That’s cool too.
My hope is that you find that these methods allow to continue to see progress when working out at home.
Need more help with your programming?
Putting all of this stuff together into a program that produces results can be overwhelming.
And not only that, there is always that little voice in the back of your head wondering if you are doing things properly and if these exercise are appropriate for you.
Well, we take the guesswork out of that for you in our 12-month Coaching Program.
We work closely with you to monitor progressions, form, loading and ensuring that you are getting every possible benefit from your program you can.
Whether you’re looking to get more energy for crushing your days at work, more mobility to play with your kids in the backyard or even looking hot with your tarp off at the beach, we would love to help.
We only take a limited number of clients every season, so be sure to get on our VIP list.
As a VIP member, you will be able to register 24 hours before anyone else and you’ll also save 20% on the price of the program.
Also, we really want you to be happy with your investment, so we offer a 100% money-back guarantee on this program.
Click here to get on the VIP list for the 12-month Coaching Program.